The Dougherty Trojans took a giant step towards repeating as City of Albany/Dougherty County champions with a giant win at Hugh Mills Stadium last weekend.
The Trojans handed the Westover Patriots their second straight Saturday setback, as they capitalized on multiple Patriot turnovers to win convincingly, 32-8.
Dougherty (3-2, 2-0 in GHSA Region 1-AAA) scored the game’s first points on a 21-yard touchdown run by Rashon Soloman. Despite a bad snap on the extra point attempt, Kadeem Colmon still managed to make some good from that miscue, as he ran into the end zone to give the Trojans an early 8-0 lead.
Westover (3-3, 1-2) struck back quickly, as the Patriots used a 12-play, 81-yard drive that covered a span of almost five and a half minutes. Rashad Jackson’s quarterback sneak — followed by the ensuing two-point conversion run by Shon Armstrong — tied at score at 8-8 early in the second quarter.
On their next offensive possession, Ezekiel Knowles put the Trojans ahead to stay with a three-yard touchdown run with less than 10 minutes to play in the first half. Knowles’ catch of the two-point conversion gave Dougherty a 16-8 halftime lead.
The Trojans continued to play tough defense, as a Patriots fumble on the first play from scrimmage in the second half helped set up their next score.
Arabian Williams scored the first of his two touchdowns by making a catch on fourth down and 2 from Westover’s 7-yard line. A third successful two-point conversion attempt made the score 24-8.
Williams completed the scoring for the game early in the final quarter, as he sprinted 70 yards for a touchdown after another catch. The Trojans completed a 4-for-4 night in two-point conversion attempts to win by 24 points.
“It was a great win for us, a great win for our city, and it was a great win for our school,” Williams said regarding Dougherty’s second straight win over Westover in as many years. “(But) mostly it was a great win for our fans.”
The Trojans’ surprisingly easy win also silenced the critics who believed the Patriots would come away victorious.
“You can’t win games in the paper, you’ve got to win on the field; so that’s why we proved (that) we won on the field,” he said.
MONROE, WESTOVER FACE UPHILL BATTLES: While the mood was decidedly upbeat at the east stands of Hugh Mills Stadium after another big region win by Dougherty, it was completely different for Westover.
For the second week in a row, the Patriots defense was no match for the strong running game of their opponents, as once again they were held scoreless in the second half.
The multiple turnovers committed by the Patriots — five lost fumbles and an interception — didn’t help matters, Westover head coach Jeff Caldwell said.
“I thought scheme-wise, I thought we did some things to move the football,” Caldwell said. “(But) you just can’t get in a position to put the ball on the ground, (and) you certainly can’t put the ball on the ground on the 15-yard line (on) the first play of the second half.”
With identical 1-2 records in Region 1-AAA action through three games, the Monroe Tornadoes and the Patriots face an uphill battle in their quest to reach the GHSA state playoffs.
Monroe (4-2) lost its second straight game after starting the season 4-0, as Peach County won easily, 31-6, at Hugh Mills Stadium on Friday.
While both the Patriots and Trojans still must face Peach County and Cairo down the stretch, the Tornadoes have a slightly easier schedule over their final four games.
Contests against Westover, Perry and Worth County — which have just one region win between them — follow to close out the regular season for Monroe after this Saturday’s game against Dougherty.
Despite losing back-to-back games, the Tornadoes can still make the playoffs by running the table. Meanwhile, the Patriots welcome Peach County to Hugh Mills Stadium on Oct. 16 after a bye week. Still, playing one of the state’s elite teams in the Trojans from Fort Valley, Ga., is the last thing on Caldwell’s mind going into the week off.
“We can’t worry about Peach County right now,” Caldwell said. “We’ve got a week hopefully to heal up. We’re about as beat up as anybody can be.
“Hopefully, we’ll get some people back, we’re supposed to get a few people back next week, hopefully. We’ve got to worry about ourselves, and try to get ourselves better, and do some things better, and we’ll go from there.”
QUICK HITTERS: Albany’s GISA teams continued to stay hot, as both squads won by double digits last week.
The Deerfield-Windsor Knights won their fourth straight game, as they downed Piedmont, 28-13, on the road to improve to 5-2. As for Sherwood Christian, the Eagles notched their win with a 42-0 rout of Windsor to go to 4-1 on the season.
The Lee County Trojans (1-5, 1-2 GHSA Region 1-AAAA) saw their win streak end at just one game, as Westside, Macon rolled to a convincing 56-22 win at Trojan Field in Leesburg.
The Worth County Rams’ losing streak reached four after Cairo cruised to a 33-6 win in GHSA Region 1-AAA action.
ON THE WEB: High School Football Recap — http://southwestgafootball.wordpress.com.
Written by Walter L. Johnson II